Google Interview Worth Reading

March 25, 2009

The interview with Alfred Spector in ComputerWorld is interesting for what it says and what it omits. You can find the article “The Grill: Google’s Alfred Spector on the Hot Seat” here. This is a three part interview. Mr. Spector is billed as Google’s vice president of research. For me, the most interesting comment was:

Do you have plans to go after that huge body of information on the Internet that is not currently searched? There is stuff on the Web, the so-called Deep Web, that is only “materialized” when a particular query is given by filling fields in a form. Since crawlers only follow HTML links, they cannot get to that “hidden” content. We have developed technologies to enable the Google crawler to get content behind forms and therefore expose it to our users. In general, this kind of Deep Web tends to be tabular in nature. It covers a very broad set of topics. It’s a challenge, but we’ve made progress.

I would hope so. Google has Drs. Guha and Halevy chugging away or had them chugging away on this problem. Furthermore, Google bought Transformics, a company that most of the Google pundits have paid scant attention to. Yep, Googzilla is making progress. Just plonking along with the fellow who worked on the semantic Web standards and the chap who invented the information manifold. I enjoy Google understatement.

Stephen Arnold, March 24, 2009


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